Blog Archive

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

More March & Fallout

The good news about the march was that somewhere between 100,000 and 500,000 people showed up. That's the police and the organizers' estimates, respectively. Usually splitting it down the middle gives you something about right, so let's say 300,000 folks showed up.

Now here's the bad news. Dawn's dad may be getting fired over it. He and all the other folks working at the factory went Friday, despite being told Thursday night that anyone who went would get the axe. No one has received official termination letters yet. It sounds like the official company staff, including Dawn's dad, may be able to stay on, but the company wants to dump the day labor folks who were working there and chose to march. The company employees are saying they won't stay unless everyone gets their jobs back. I don't know how this will shake out, but it was pretty rough sitting with Dawn and her parents on folding chairs and large buckets in their new house, with dust all over the floor and white paint drying on the walls, wondering whether they're going to be able to make the mortgage payments.

I pitched the story to a reporter friend of mine (won't say which one yet) and am trying to get to a labor lawyer. I think if the company really wants to fire them they can, but I'm hopeful that a bilingual lawyer could put the fear of God in the management and shelve the whole dispute. If any of you readers have any leads on advocates who could help, please post. I've sent an email to a buddy at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, but you can imagine they are swamped with organizing stuff now and who knows when I'll get a response. Thanks for any tips.

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